Regular Meeting of Monday April 26, 2021 at 7:00 PM
At South Hero Town Hall and via Zoom
Board Members Present: David Carter/Chairman, Skip Brown/Board Secretary, Ross Brown/Vice Chairman,
Anne Zolotas, Chuck Hulse
Board Members Not Present: none
Others Present: Erin Morse/Town Clerk, and Martha Taylor-Varney/ZA. Also see sign in sheet of in person and Zoom attendees who actively participated.
1. Called to Order:
-The meeting was called by Acting Chairman Ross Brown at 7:00 pm
2. Adjustment to Agenda:
-Chuck Hulse made a motion to acknowledge the minutes of April 12, 2021. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
4. Public input:
5. New Business:
A. James Suwilow of Vermont DEC and Town environmental consulting engineer Joel Bershing of VHB were present to update the Board on the PFAS chemicals found in the old Town landfill. Here is some background: Note that the landfill was closed in the 1990’s and has been tested regularly for other chemicals since it was closed. In 2018 when PFAS was found near Bennington, the State required testing for it in the closed landfill testing wells. PFAS has been, and still is used in many products. It does not break down, so is considered a “forever” chemical. The first time that it was tested for in 2018, it was found in the 2 of the 4 testing wells that are at the perimeter of the property. Since it was discovered, the Town has tested all residential water wells within a mile radius and no PFAS chemical were found in them. The State would like the Town to do further testing to see if the chemical has migrated off of the landfill property. Letters were sent to abutting property owners near the landfill property, and so far, 3 have not responded to letters requesting permission to drill small test wells on their properties. The Board will assist the engineer to obtain permission for the testing. Once permission is granted, they hope to drill the test wells in the summer when the ground dries out.
6. Administrative Assistant Report:
A. See the written report filed with these minutes in Town Hall or www.southherovt.org.
7. Old and Ongoing Business:
A. At the last meeting, Mike Servidio of Technology Consultants Inc (TCI) presented plans and estimates to update internet technology in Town Hall and to provide tech support. Currently there are no great firewall monitoring or back-up systems in place. His company is also able to update the old phone system, as the current 25+ year old system is not adequate. Erin Morse presented a cost comparison of what the Town now spends on technology and what the new plan would cost. Town Hall IT Upgrade David Carter made a motion to proceed with the updated technology plan as presented. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
B. The Town Constable position was discussed. The residents voted at Town Meeting that the Town Constable can be appointed by the Selectboard. There are specific guidelines per State Statute and VLCT to be Town Constable. Chuck Hulse has prepared a summarized job description. If the Constable does not train for law enforcement, there are not many duties for the position. A question was raised if the Town even has to have a constable. The Secretary of State advises that the Town must have a Constable unless the Town enacts a charter change. More info will be forthcoming.
C. Anne Zolotas made a motion to hire Alpine Web Design to host and update the Town website platform. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
8. Announcements and Communications:
A. None at this meeting
9. Other Business:
A. Skip Brown made a motion to approve and sign orders 21-22 and to pay the bills associated with the orders. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
B. Recreation Commission (RC) update: Tom Chagnon has resigned from the Recreation Commission. Some no parking signs marking the emergency access to the Lake have been moved to better mark the location. Parking passes for Town residents and out of Town residents will begin to be sold on May 3, 2021.
C. Road Department update: Some cars are cutting off of West Shore Rd. and driving over grass where it joins Rte. 314. Since it is in the State ROW, the Road Foreman will need guidance from them on what steps may be taken to prevent it. An area for a salt shed and a possible used building to store some equipment are being looked into.
D. Anne Zolotas made a motion to approve and sign the following Liquor License renewals: After Noonies/DBA Blue Paddle Bistro (outside consumption), AIR Development/DBA Apple Island General Store (Class 2) and AIR Development/DBA Apple Island Golf (Class 2). The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
E. Anne Zolotas made a motion to go into executive session for legal matters at 8:25. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. Executive session ended at 8:35 pm. After executive session, Anne Zolotas made a motion that Martha may correspond with the Town Attorney regarding the Zlotoff conditional use and site plan application. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
F. Anne Zolotas made a motion to go into executive session for personnel matters at 8:36pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried. Executive session ended at 9:25 pm. Upon exiting executive session, the consensus of the Board is to update the salary of the Zoning Administrator in recognition of the increase in workload and time spent working for the Town. Also, Anne Zolotas made a motion to allow John Beaulac to roll over accrued vacation time to be used in the next fiscal year. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
-Ross Brown made a motion to adjourn 9:28 pm. The motion was seconded, all in attendance so voted and the motion carried.
Respectfully submitted, Approved by,
Graham Brown David Carter, Chairman
Administrative Officer’s Report to Selectboard April 26, 2021
- Ross Brown has added himself as the new Municipal Authorizing Official (MAO) for South Hero on the State’s GEARS system. His password isn’t working in the GEARS system and I’ve asked him to check it. NRPC has informed me that the Environmental review for the Old White Meeting House planning grant must be submitted by May 1st.
- I have not had time to work on the Town’s request to VTrans to consider adding “No Parking” signs on portions of RT 2 in South Hero Village and Keeler Bay Village. Terry Robinson and Ron Phelps have requested parking space be reserved on RT 2 for the Museum. My responsibilities as Zoning Administrator leave me little time to pursue this right now.
- I received news after the last SB meeting that the Bayview Crossing Implementation grant had been awarded by Vermont Community Development. The grant is for up to $730,000. I received the award letter and grant conditions today. The award is conditional upon the project successfully receiving Low Income Housing Tax Credits at the May 2021 Vermont Housing Finance Agency Board meeting. All award conditions must be fully met by October 1, 2021. Conditions include a copy of the most recent audit, contact information for the grant administrator, and questions for the Treasurer. Among the other conditions is the requirement that at least one member of the Town’s Legislative body, a municipal officer, or a designee attend a Fair Housing Training (not yet scheduled). The complete award letter and explanation of conditions is available in my office or by email.
- The Maine Floodplain Management program has extended an invitation for a free showing of the documentary film Last House Standing. This film explores why we continue to place cost over safety, while technology exists to build homes capable of withstanding natural disasters. Contact me for a link to sign up or to watch the trailer. This is free and available from 10:30AM Friday, 4/30 to 11PM Sunday, May 2nd.
- LCATV will continue with Zoom as long as possible but Buddy Meilleur has offered to speak with the Selectboard to discuss schedules and procedures going forward.
The Planning Commission continues to hold meetings via Zoom.
- The Planning Commission has set June 5th for its public hearing for amendments to the Development Regulations regarding changes to Table 2.1, regulations regarding Accessory Dwellings, industry in the Village Zoning Districts, and Accessory commercial uses in all districts.
Development Review Board:
– I am scheduling DRB hearings into late May 2021. All hearings are being held via Zoom for the foreseeable future.
– There are 3 scheduled hearings on April 28th to complete the requirements for new mobile vendors’ license.
– Bayview Crossing had its Final Site Plan Review on April 14. The DRB will complete its decision on April 28.
– A CU/SP review for the Zlotoff Foundation’s Car museum is scheduled for May 12. Once this review is complete, the Foundation’s current notice of violation will be resolved.
– Recent DRB hearing decisions are posted on the Board outside the ZA’s office or can be emailed upon request.
Martha Taylor-Varney (ZA)